Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 comments Peter King Picks An All-Decade Team Much to My Consternation

It's the end of the 2000's which mean sports websites are going to be coming out with their All-Decade teams in nearly every sport. In the comments to the Tuesday post we have gotten a head start on discussing Peter King's All-Decade team and awards. I had planned on covering it anyway, so I figured while there was a brief discussion about it in the comments on Tuesday, I would cover the entire the entire article and throw in a special bonus Peter King Tuesday mailbag today. Don't act like you aren't excited.

Let me start first with Peter's All-Decade team.

My team oozes points and leadership.

Any team with Randy Moss on the team immediately gets points for leadership. A team without a strong safety (we'll get to this), right tackle, and right guard is going to need leadership.

A few points of clarification: I have selected a team.

By "team" Peter means "this team will in no way represent a real team because there are two left guards, two left tackles, and 2 free safeties." (Ed Reed and Brian Dawkins are the safeties on Peter's team and Reed has played strong safety, so he could play that position, he just currently doesn't play it currently) Basically it's a team to the extent it could never be a real team because all the players don't play the position Peter has put them into the All-Decade team as playing. So it's a team with the idea that some players are out of position. I know this is a little nitpicky, but there is a difference in positions along the offensive line and I would think players should be selected to the All-Decade team based on the actual position they played. Obviously, I am not as concerned about the strong safety position as I am the offensive line positions, but I do want to note both Dawkins and Reed are currently free safeties.

I could also make a joke about how these awards should be renamed the "Colts and Patriots were good in the 2000's awards," but I think I will hold off on saying that.

As Rulebook noted, Peter selected Walter Jones and Jonathan Ogden as the tackles on this team, despite the fact neither player played right tackle. Along with this Peter selected two left guards, Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson. So the team doesn't really have a right guard. When talking about Hutchinson, Peter said the following:

The best guard of the last 20 years. He's not the same today as he was three or four years ago, but this is a decade award, and he's the best masher and pass protector of any guard we've seen in recent years.

Hutchinson played 9 seasons in the 2000's and Peter says Hutchinson is not as good now as he was three or four years ago. So basically Peter is saying Hutchinson had 5-6 good years in the 2000's and this qualifies him as the best guard of the last 20 years? This doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense to me because Hutchinson only played at an All-Decade level for half of the decade, by Peter's own admission, so I don't know if he is the best guard of the last 20 years. I would put Faneca or Larry Allen in that category.

Every coach who's had him -- Bill Cowher, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan -- will tell you the same thing: Give me five Fanecas on the line, and we'll go play you in the parking lot.

You will also have 5 left guards on an offensive line. This is not necessarily a good thing. See, the position each person plays on the offensive line means something. Here's a great example. Jeff Otah who plays on my favorite team is a good right tackle, but he isn't a good left tackle. Travelle Wharton is an upper tier guard but merely an average left tackle. This goes for players along the offensive line on other teams in the NFL as well. I am sure either Hutchinson or Faneca could play right guard, but my point is that they didn't excel at that position, so they shouldn't be placed there.

Then Peter chooses Hines Ward as his other wide receiver:

I've got a big and athletic competitor, Moss, on one side of the field. On the other side, I want a feisty receiver who produces and blocks and wins. Ward is one of the top five blocking receivers in NFL history.

Here is my main problem with Peter's list. He wants to choose a real NFL team as if the team would actually play a football game. That's fine. If he is going to do that, then he needs to stay true to the actual position these players are playing. If he wants it to be a realistic team and choose Hines Ward as a wide receiver, that's great, but he also has to have an actual right tackle, right guard, and strong safety on the roster so it can be a realistic team.

In fact, here is what Peter says on his Twitter when asked what he would have done if he had to name a 3rd wide receiver:

RT @Pantherfan4life: What about a 3d wr? Who would slot WR be? ... Honestly thought of that. Stokley, Welker, and neither have 10-yr mark.

So Peter was going to name an actual 3rd wide receiver on an NFL roster and not the 3rd best receiver of the 2000's, thereby staying honest to his "real team" criteria (and the two choices he gave for the 3rd receiver were a Colt and a Patriot, so there you go...they were the dominant teams). Yet he doesn't stick to this criteria at safety or on the offensive line. If you can figure this logic out, good luck to you.

Clearly Peter doesn't want to choose a real NFL team because he doesn't stay position specific. Who is to say Alan Faneca would be a great right guard? So if Peter is not being position specific, which is what is happening, he needs to choose a different wide receiver for his All-Decade team. Perhaps a guy named Terrell Owens or another receiver like Marvin Harrison. Peter, by his own admission, doesn't like Terrell Owens so naturally he doesn't choose him for his All-Decade team. Peter likes Hines Ward and wants a "real team" (or so he says), so he chooses Ward over Owens and Harrison.

Now Peter talks about choosing Peyton Manning as his quarterback:

If I chose this team at the end of this season and the Patriots had won another title, I'd have to put Brady in this spot.

Here we go with this crap. If Peyton Manning is the best quarterback of the decade, what does it matter if Tom Brady has won more Super Bowls? If Super Bowls are the judge of which quarterback is better, than clearly Tom Brady is the best quarterback of the 2000's, so how the hell would Brady getting one more Super Bowl victory make a difference in any way?

What is the standard Peter is using for judging his quarterback? Is it Super Bowl rings? If so, then Tom Brady wins this spot. If it is the better quarterback, and Peter King believes Manning is the better quarterback, then one more Super Bowl ring for Brady should not make a single bit of difference.

Then Peter chooses Aaron Smith as one defensive end. Peter has the team set up as a 3-4 or a 4-3 team, but there is no way in my mind Aaron Smith can be on this team. Dwight Freeney or Julius Peppers would have been great choices, but I don't think Aaron Smith is a great choice for a defensive end on an All-Decade team.

Then Jason Taylor got chosen as the other defensive end:

Tough call over Strahan. It's not Strahan's fault that he straddled decades and played seven years in the 1990s and eight in the 2000s.

It's not Strahan's fault but Peter is going to hold it against him anyway and not name him to the All-Decade team. It's interesting how Peter acts like he has no control over his list even though he is the one who determines the criteria for being chosen, the position each player plays, and what kind of team he is trying to put together. He seems as if he had no choice but to leave Strahan off, which is not true.

Then Peter chooses Mike Vrabel as one of his linebackers:

There are scores of players who have a better statistical resume than Vrabel in the decade (50 sacks, 11 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles), but he's here because of his versatile playmaking skills and ability to play all over the linebacking corps.

Absolutely not. I realize Mike Vrabel is an awesome guy because he played for three Super Bowl champion teams but even if Peter is getting together a "team" there is no way Mike Vrabel should be on that team. Hell, Zach Thomas, Keith Brooking, Brian Urlacher or even Keith Bullock would have been better choices.

The three-time Super Bowl champions are going to be represented on this defense, the same way the rock-ribbed, team-minded Steelers are with Aaron Smith.

I know this is Peter's list but the Patriots and the Steelers don't HAVE to have players listed on Peter's All-Decade team on defense. If Peter is really concerned with making sure individual players on a team are represented then I have to question the validity of this list. It just doesn't scream of authenticity for Peter to believe certain teams have to have players represented, so he puts a player from that team on his All-Decade team simply because of this.

I have no problem with Antoine Winfield being on the team but Peter's reasoning sucks:

Others will have more stats than his 19 interceptions over the decade, but not many corners will ever have a 94-tackle season, as he did in 2003 with the Bills.

Peter should be smart enough to know a 94 tackle season isn't exactly a good thing. That means the front seven of Buffalo wasn't doing a whole hell of a lot of tackling or Winfield had the ball thrown at him a lot and he had to make tackles. Not to take anything away from Winfield but tackles aren't always a good thing for cornerbacks or defensive players.

Then Peter chooses Ed Reed and Brian Dawkins as his safeties. I looked it up, and yes, both are listed as free safeties right now. Maybe the positions are interchangeble but I can't help but think a player who played strong safety the entire decade (or close) should have made this roster instead. This isn't as important as getting the offensive line positions right though.

Give me Vinatieri, in the snow, from 45 yards, with the kick that launched a three-time Super Bowl run for the Patriots. New England won all three Super Bowls by a field goal, a fitting tribute to a fourth cousin of Evel Knievel and a descendant of Felix Vinatieri, the band leader whose group inspired Gen. George Custer hours before going into battle at Little Big Horn.

I am not sure inspiring George Custer and his troops before the Battle at Little Big Horn is something I would put on my resume. My recollection of that battle is that it didn't turn out too well. Maybe Felix Vinatieri should have done more advance spying on the Indians before the battle at Little Big Horn rather than inspiring Custer.

Dick LeBeau was named the coordinator of the decade. I would have put Monte Kiffin in that spot instead personally...but what do I know?

Peter then names Howard Mudd the assistant coach of the decade, saying:

The mark of a good assistant is losing good players (Tarik Glenn to retirement, Jake Scott to free agency), plugging in lesser players and still winning. Mudd has been an excellent technician and partner for Manning and offensive coordinator Tom Moore.

Howard Mudd was absolutely essential to the Colts success as you can tell from the fact the Colts are 12-0 the first year that he is not an official assistant coach with the team.

Then Peter names Scott Pioli "Scout/Personnel" person of the decade, seemingly creating a category to honor Pioli. I am pretty sure Pioli was the General Manager of the Patriots (correct me if I am wrong Patriots fans) and not a Scout or Personnel position guy (Bill Polian got the GM award), but I guess Peter feels the need to shoehorn one of his buddies into his decade awards.

There's always been a debate when the Patriots' greatness comes up. Who deserves the architectural credit for assembling the players built into champions -- Belichick solely, or Belichick and Pioli? It's certainly the latter.

That's not what I have heard. Bill Simmons also has heard the same thing and mentioned it on his Twitter one time, that Belichick was responsible for the Patriots important moves, while Pioli was an important person, the final call was always Belichick's. I don't know if that makes Pioli "Scout/Personnel" person of the decade, but makes him smart to listen to what Belichick thinks.

Now I will get to Peter's Decade Highlights and Lowlights. These highlights and lowlights are also sort of tributes to the Patriots and the Colts, but I can't argue with that overall. They were two of the dominant teams of the 2000's and we know enough about Peter King to know he tends to worship those two teams to an extent, so it's not a huge shock they would be dominant in his decade awards.

PLAYER OF THE DECADE:Peyton Manning, Colts

The Colts are the winningest regular-season team in the decade, and Manning's immense presence, skill, accuracy and mastery of the offense are the biggest reasons.

I wonder if Brady wins another Super Bowl if Peter will consider replacing Manning with Brady? If not, how the hell can Manning be the player of the decade but not the best player at his position during the decade? Clearly, I am still not over Peter's logic in saying Tom Brady would be his choice for quarterback of the decade if he won one more Super Bowl. It just doesn't make sense to me...especially combined with this award.

Indianapolis leads New England 113-109 in regular-season wins heading into the last four games of this season, but the Patriots won the big ones more often than the Colts. Scott Pioli, vice president of New England until departing for Kansas City earlier this year, liked to say: "Individuals go the Pro Bowl. Teams win championships.''

I hope everyone can see the irony that I do when Peter quotes Pioli about how individuals go to the Pro Bowl and teams win championships. The irony is that Peter would give an individual award to Tom Brady for quarterback of the decade for achieving a team goal of winning a fourth Super Bowl in the 2000's. Add in some irony for the fact that Peter JUST HAD to recognize two individuals on his All-Decade team, Aaron Smith and Mike Vrabel, for the fact their teams were good during the 2000's and it may be too much for me. So either Peter doesn't believe Pioli's quote is true or he doesn't base his All-Decade team on this premise.


Let the controversy begin. It was a bit bullyish, but this New England team storm-trooped through the season, winning its first eight by 24, 24, 31, 21, 17, 21, 21 and 45 points. Tom Brady threw a record 50 touchdown passes. Randy Moss caught a record 23. The Patriots set an NFL record for a single season with 589 points. And I realize it's a quirky deal, naming the best team and knowing that it didn't win its final game.

I find it interesting that one of the categories Peter thought would be controversial is a category that I absolutely agree with. The 2007 Patriots were the best team of the decade, even though they didn't win the Super Bowl. I don't think a team that had an inferior record, but won the Super Bowl, could be considered better than the Patriots. The Patriots won 18 out of 19 games in 2007. They lost one really, really important game, but it was just one game over the entire year. Is a team like the 2006 Colts who went 12-4 a better team simply because they won the Super Bowl? I would argue they weren't.

MOST DRAMATIC REGULAR-SEASON GAME: Packers 41, Raiders 7; Dec. 22 2003

Abso-freaking-lutley not. It was dramatic because the media built up the hype because Favre's dad had died and (here is a shock) Favre was indecisive on whether he would play or not, but this wasn't a dramatic game. This was a dramatic event before a game. Of course we know Peter has to talk about Brett Favre in at least one of these categories or else it wouldn't be a Peter King article.

Not the most competitive game, but the most memorable.

This was a memorable game for Peter King because he absolutely worships Brett Favre. He worships him in a "I have a statue of Brett Favre that I rub for good luck when times are tough" type way. It's actually a borderline out of control obsession that Peter has. It was dramatic for Peter because he loves Brett Favre. Brett's father dying was like Peter's father dying. This was not the most dramatic game of the decade though.

"I don't know how I did it,'' he said later. "But I just know I had to, and my dad would have wanted me to play.''

Brett Favre: The only person in the history of the world to do his job after a close relative of his has died.

Before anyone starts commenting I am insensitive and saying I am diminishing Favre's father's death, don't bother, everyone's parent dies at some point. It happens and it is usually sad. I am not mocking Favre, but other players in the NFL have had to play through tragedies in their lives and haven't gotten nearly as much press for it. Brett Favre didn't have to play that night, the Packers had given him the option, but Favre in no way could pass up the opportunity to (a) be in the spotlight and have people shine praise on him and (b) keep his consecutive start streak going. Yes, I know I am jaded, but I also am a little bit correct about this. If Favre didn't want to play, he didn't have to. People lose close relatives everyday and have to go about their lives, my heart went out to Favre at the time, but he didn't have to play, and because he did it doesn't make this the most dramatic game.

I would say the most dramatic game of the 2000's was "The Monday Night Miracle." Nearly everyone who watched that game remembers where they were when that comeback happened and it was also on national television. I thought that game was really dramatic.

BEST REGULAR-SEASON GAME: Colts 38, Buccaneers 35 (OT); Oct. 6, 2003

I won't argue with this award but Peyton Manning always gets credit for this comeback and I am not sure that is where credit is completely due. Let's look at what happened in the comeback and what Manning was/was not responsible for in the comeback.

Manning put the Colts in the 21-point hole by throwing a pick-six interception to Ronde Barber with six minutes to go.

Manning's fault. So Manning caused the Colts to have to come back from a larger deficit.

Then, rapid-fire, this is what happened: 90-yard Bray Pyatt (who?) kickoff return, three-yard James Mungro (who?) touchdown run,

Manning should get no credit for this. This was all special teams and the running back.

onside kick recovered by Idrees Bashir (who?),

No credit for Manning. Credit should go to Vanderjagt and Bashir.

28-yard scoring pass from Manning to Marvin Harrison,

Manning gets credit for this.

three-and-out for the Bucs,

Colts defense gets credit for this. If they didn't stop the Bucs three-and-out, then Manning would never have gotten the ball back.

85-yard drive by the Colts, culminating in a one-yard scoring run by Ricky Williams (no, not that one; the unknown one) and, in overtime, a 29-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt.

Manning can get credit for this.

So for the three touchdowns, two were caused by plays that put Manning in easy range to score and the defense forced a three-and-out to get Manning the ball back before the final drive. While Peyton Manning deserves some credit, it wasn't quite the "Peyton Manning-only comeback" everyone seems to remember. The special teams and defense helped out in the comeback effort more than some people want to admit.


The 34-7 trouncing of the Giants in 2001 was impressive enough, but when you consider that New York qualified for this embarrassment by totally outclassing the Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship Game, it's doubly good.

This list is populated with Colts, Steelers, and Patriots highlights/ I guess Peter wanted to give another one of his favorite East Coast teams a bone, but he chose the wrong East Coast team to give props to. How the hell a 10-6 New York Giants team that was the #6 seed in the NFC doesn't deserve the best Super Bowl performance for beating an 18-0 Patriots team, the same Patriots team that beat the Giants in New York a couple weeks earlier, is absolutely beyond me.

BEST SUPER BOWL: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23; XLIII

The Steelers led 20-7 with 10 minutes left, and the sixth Super Bowl in Pittsburgh's glorious history was a foregone conclusion ... or was it? The Steelers' defense let the suddenly no-huddling Cardinals drive the length of the field twice in an eight-minute span, and, adding a safety, Arizona took a 23-20 led with 2:30 to play.

This is the part where Todd Haley thought, "maybe I should quit trying to run the ball and throw the ball to the best receiver in football, Larry Fitzgerald?" It taking 3 quarters for Haley to realize this is what made me wonder why he was such a prime head coaching candidate this past offseason.

Personally, I am partial to either the 2001 Super Bowl or the 2004 Super Bowl as the best Super Bowl of the decade. Both games were dramatic and there was some back and forth at the end of the game. Even though the 2004 Super Bowl was boring for 3 quarters, the end of the game more than made up for it in my mind. I may be biased but think that could be the best Super Bowl of the 2000's.

WORST TRADE: Jets deal two first-round picks (Nos. 13 and 22) and a fourth-round pick to the Bears for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2003 draft (Dewayne Robertson); April 25, 2003

This wasn't a great trade, but let's look at what Chicago initially got in return for Dewayne Robertson. The 13th pick went to New England for the 14th pick (and another pick I couldn't find), which turned into Michael Haynes, the 22nd pick was Rex Grossman and the fourth round pick turned out to be Ian Scott. So from what I have found...the bust Robertson turned into the bust Haynes, the underachiever Grossman and a backup defensive tackle. This may be the worst trade because neither team ended up benefitting long term, but it wasn't the worst trade on the part of the Jets. Sure they gave up a lot, but again, Chicago didn't benefit long term from the trade.

Granted, this isn't a great trade, but this is the worst trade of the entire decade? If you are going to stick to the Jets making a bad about the Chiefs giving up the pick that became Leon Washington for Herm Edwards? This Jets/Bears deal with Robertson was pretty much a non-factor for the Jets and the Bears in the long term, I don't know how it could be the worst of the decade. In fact, I bet some Bears fans wish Grossman had never been drafted and they had just kept the #4 pick and drafted Robertson even if he was a bust.

BIGGEST DRAFT BUST: JaMarcus Russell, 2007, first pick (first round), Raiders

There is no way Charles Rogers should not be the biggest bust of the 2000's.

BEST PERFORMANCE: Ray Lewis, Super Bowl XXXV, Atlanta

Shouldn't we be able to at least remember the performance? I don't remember Ray Lewis' performance in that game. All I remember about that Super Bowl is Brandon Stokely beating Jason Sehorn for a touchdown. I do remember Adrian Peterson rushing for 296 yards in his 8th game as a pro. In fact here is a gallery of some of the better performances than this one...provided by Peter's employer.

VILLAIN: Terrell Owens

The human distraction flitted from San Francisco (where he criticized quarterback Jeff Garcia's arm) to Philadelphia (where he said Favre would have been a better fit for Philly than Donovan McNabb) to Dallas (where he was a professional whiner if he didn't get the ball thrown to him enough) to Buffalo (where the franchise is losing but hasn't burned down yet). All in all, quite a nice decade for the man known as T.O.

Of all the things Owens did wrong in Philly, the only one Peter can remember is a compliment to Brett Favre that Terrell Owens made which was supposed to be an insult to Donovan McNabb. Again, Peter doesn't really like Terrell Owens (he said so in an interview I posted on this blog a few months ago), so he is sort of putting him in the "villain" category in error in my mind.

I think Mike Vick would be a much better choice here since he went to jail and is now the poster boy for animal cruelty in America. I think Mike Vick was a villain to a wider audience during the 2000's.

BEST TEAM RIVALRY: Colts vs. Patriots

Was there another option Peter would choose?

BEST INDIVIDUAL RIVALRY: Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady

Amazing thing is, they actually like, admire and text each other.

Well, if this were a 90's list the "Best Individual Rivalry" could be "Brett Favre v. Vicodin," but unfortunately this doesn't count.

(that's my only really low cheap shot for the day)

Two problems with this individual rivalry:

1. It is really hard to have a rivalry when the two players really like each other. There doesn't seem to be much of an individual rivalry inherent in these two player's relationship in this case. No one cares if they like each other, this only goes to make this seem more like a friendship than a rivalry. At least there should be some sort of conflict between the two players or they had to face each other on the field (at the same time) a few times.

2. Wouldn't a rivalry with actual dislike from each person be better? Maybe Joey Porter v. the World, Phillip Rivers v. Jay Cutler, or any rivalry where the two people play each other on a frequent basis and have a dislike for each other.

BEST PERSONNEL MAN/SCOUT: Scott Pioli, Patriots and Chiefs

I don't want to take anything away from Pioli, but he did work with another personnel/coach genius in Bill Belichick. How does Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the same guy who put together a roster in the 2000's that won 2 Super Bowls and also found players who could play in the undrafted/lowly drafted market, not deserve some consideration?

Now, let's take a peek at Peter's Tuesday-MMQB mailbag for the week.

1. Tom Brady needs to self-study, if Vontae Davis is to be believed.

Yes Peter, I am sure this rookie cornerback has Tom Brady all figured out.

Now, in this case, Brady could throw a fade, where Moss would use his size and go up for an arcing ball over the smaller Davis, or, thinking Davis would surely be looking for the trademark fade, throw it short, at Moss' back shoulder. He did the latter. "I anticipated it might be back-shoulder,'' Davis told me. "Watching film, I know they throw back-shoulder a lot, so I was ready for it.''

So basically Davis knew he had a 50/50 chance of guessing right and rather than guess at the fade where Davis had no chance at catching the ball, he decided to guess the throw to Moss' back shoulder where he would actually have a chance at deflecting/intercepting the pass? This makes sense to me, go with the route you can stop if you are Vontae Davis as opposed to the one you can't. Vontae Davis did a good job of guessing, but this doesn't mean he has Brady figured out.

Apparently Peter believes Tom Brady needs to get away from the throws he has been making successfully for the past couple of years because he got intercepted one time. Again, there was a 50/50 chance Davis would guess right as to where the ball was going...and he did guess right. This isn't necessarily cause for Brady to self-evaluate more than usual.

3. Think, Joe Flacco. Joe, Joe, Joe. Flacco made a throw last night I don't think he ever would have made in his rookie year, and it showed how much he's pressing right now. Baltimore was at the Packers' 3 on second-and-goal with nine minutes left, down 10 points. If the Ravens score here, they make a game of it and have at least two more chances to score down the stretch. Flacco faded right, looked, looked, looked ... and instead of throwing it away as he rolled toward the right sideline, he threw it against the grain into end-zone traffic, and Williams intercepted for Green Bay. Throwit into the seats, man! Inexcusable.

But Peter, Joe Flacco is playing the game like a child would, just trying to make a play for his team with a big smile on his face. Flacco is just trying to make a play! What's wrong with trying to create a play when his team is losing? Isn't that what Brett Favre would do?

From Joern of Hamburg, Germany: "So Michael Vick's got one of the three best arms in football? Interesting. Let me get this straight: So his arm is better than the arm of either Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees? Don't think so Peter. And I haven't even thrown Brett Favre, Jay Cutler or Philip Rivers into the mix. Highly exaggerated in my eyes.''

Uh-oh. Someone dares to call Peter on his hyperbolic exclamations in his MMQB? Listen, what Peter says is the rule for the land. Derek Jeter is the best player of Peter's lifetime (or the last 25 years as Peter constitutes his "lifetime" apparently) and Mike Vick has one of the three best arms in football. Peter sets the rules, we just follow them.

PK: It wouldn't be if you stood along the sidelines at a Falcons training camp practice four years ago, like I did, and watched Vick throw the ball 65 yards effortlessly, with a single stride.

Vick did this four years ago? Well I didn't realize "four years ago" can still classify as having one of the 3 best arms in football in football TODAY. Peter's grasp of time isn't one of his strongest suits. He is taking something that happened a couple years ago and making it still relevant for today without real proof for today. Just like Peter's lifetime is only 25 years long, Mike Vick having a great arm four years ago means he still has that same arm strength today.

PK: That arm strength doesn't disappear spending two years in federal custody.

Possibly, but Peter should know he isn't talking about what he saw two years ago...he is talking about Vick's arm strength four years ago. Things, like arm strength, do change in four years.

From J.J. Rouhana of Falmouth, Maine: "I continue to be impressed with the Colts this year. Coming into 2009 I thought they were going to take a step backwards from 2008. Here is my question: How important is the Colts head coach? I think the world of Tony Dungy, but how important was he in the grand scheme of things? Was Jim Caldwell doing a lot behind the scenes already? Is Peyton Manning just as much of a coach as Caldwell/Dungy?''

It's good see I am not the only one who notices that Tony Dungy's teams have done as well, if not better, than they did when he was the head coach AFTER he is no longer the head coach. I am not saying Dungy was overrated as a coach, just saying it is interesting.

PK: The infrastructure of the Colts is so good. Bill Polian has set an organization in place, and Dungy fit it perfectly, and Caldwell learned under Dungy, and now Caldwell fits in perfectly.

God, thanks for the perfectly clear explanation Peter as to how the Colts organization works. This sounds like something Joe Morgan would write.

But the overriding thing about the Colts is as long as they play decent defense (just decent) and Manning is playing, they'll be serious contenders every year. Manning just does so much that goes unrecognized and unappreciated.

No. Peyton Manning does nothing that goes unrecognized and unappreciated. Everything Peyton Manning does is recognized and appreciated others...specifically Peter King and the mainstream media are the ones doing the appreciating and recognizing. There has never been a point where I have thought, "Gosh, Peyton Manning deserves some more credit. He doesn't get nearly the recognition that he deserves for all that wonderful things he does."

How can Peter King say there are things Manning does that are unrecognized? No player can have absolutely everything he does well recognized or appreciated. Peter named Peyton Manning as the "Best Player of the Decade." There is really no other way to recognize or appreciate a player anymore than that over the period of the 2000's.


Edward said...

King's team is pretty dumb, but I don't see anything wrong with picking two left tackles and two left guards.

The two guard positions are essentially interchangeable, and left tackles are generally better than right tackles. Why would you place inferior players just because they play on a particular side?

What if both Champ Bailey and Ronde Barber played left cornerback (and they might, I'm not sure). Oh, my, how can they both be on the all-decade team?

Bengoodfella said...

I don't see them as interchangeable if he is creating a "team." Just like he would have chosen an inferior WR who actually played the 3rd WR slot, he should stay position specific even if it leads to an inferior player on a particular side. The reason I would place inferior players just because they play on a specific side is because he would have chosen an inferior player at the 3WR slot and at LB because they fit his "team" better.

I didn't make the rules, he is the one that wants a real team that could compete on the field in real life and he chose two players for two positions they have never played.

Cornerbacks are a little different than LT/RT and LG/RG. Corners play all over the field on different defensive play calls, while the offensive line is generally set and many teams have different responsibilities for each tackle and guard.

That's my reasoning for why I wanted him to be position specific.

brent daniels said...

I'm sorry but did he not watch the 4th quarter of the Panthers Patriots superbowl. You think with that being his favorite team and all he would remember it. I'm not positive but I think that the game set a record for 4th quarter points and lead changes. I do remember taking a nap at halftime though and missing Janet Jackson's exposure, which could of been to a boring first half which seems to be common in a lot of the recent superbowls, great endings but slow starts.
Rivalries between players that play the same position is kind of dumb to me. I remember Strahan and Runyan having a rivalry and now Tuck and Flozell Adams have one, but its because they play every play against each other. I even think Hines Ward and Ed Reed is a better Rivalry. I think in the Colts Pats games the real rivalry was between Belichick's defensive gameplans and Peyton Manning. Brady and Manning really have no real measurable effect on each other, except maybe wanting to out do each other but I don't see any real hatred or anything. Its like in baseball when they market a game as Pujols vs. Ramirez when they in no way have any effect whatsoever on each other. I could be wrong about this, The only rivalry between Manning and Brady to me is to their fans, and them arguing over which is better.

brent daniels said...

Oh and why is Aaron Smith over Strahan and Taylor such a slam dunk. I think both of them are better than Smith and don't even really think its that close.

KentAllard said...

I realize this is going to lead to grief for me, but the end of the first decade of the 21st century is still a year away. The year 2000 wss the last year of the 20th century, not the first year of the 21st. No one is going to believe me (as I found out in 2000) so just call me a name and move on.

Bengoodfella said...

I am a huge homer but that is my favorite Super Bowl. The first half was boring and I missed the whole Janet Jackson exposure thing because I was too busy analyzing the 1st half and talking about how conservative John Fox was (some things never change) but the 2nd half made up for it. It's my choice for Best Super Bowl...even though I had nightmares about the last kick for a couple weeks after it.

The best rivalry is hard to judge but I would probably go with a team or a player who actually had to face each other on the field at one point and not just two players who played on good teams that played. Hines Ward v. Ed Reed is a good one or one of my personal favorites Todd Sauerbraun v. the entire Gramatica family. Brady and Manning like each other too much and don't have enough of an impact on the field against each other directly in my mind.

I respect Aaron Smith, but I just think there are other defensive ends who would be better on an All-Decade team. Smith is a great DE in the 3-4 but I don't think he should make an All-Decade team over Strahan or another guy like that because of it.

Kent, no grief here. I remember someone saying that about the year 2000, but everyone gets too excited and starts celebrating a new decade to listen. I have just accepted it is this way.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the new millennium/century began in 2001 instead of 2000 because there was no Year 0. However, the decade still began in 2000. You name the decades 80's, 90's and so on and it would be weird if the 80's were from 81-90 and 90's were from 91-00. There need not be any connection between the millennium and the decade. Another example would be your age. In your 20's means 20-29. Not 21-30.

Bengoodfella said...

I agree it doesn't make sense for the 2000's to end in 2010 but I remember around the millenium there were people claiming it wasn't the last year year of the old millenium because of the reasoning Kent gave.

It doesn't really matter to me either way because it is just easier to name the decade as from 2000-2009 regardless of whether it is true or not. I am sure if 2010 was widely known as the last year of this decade Gregg Easterbrook would call it "Decade Creep" because sportswriters are naming All-Decade teams already.

It makes sense to have the decades the way they are, even if I am not 100% sure it is accurate or not.

Anonymous said...

I remember the discussion as well, but I can't help but wonder whether or not some of the discussion was from the Seinfeld espisode. To me, there is a year zero, because the currently accepted system of recording the passage of years is in relation to Jesus' death. If that is the case, you can't start in year one, you have to start in year zero. One year after his death, would be the first anniversary and the start of year two. It is like birthdays, I believe, where you do not say someone is one in the first year of their life.

In terms of PK's list, I agree that you need to decide whether you are building the best team, or whether you are trying to build a team based on needs. His choices with the offensive line and wide recievers seem to contradict each other.

I also disagree that someone needs to be punished because they only played seven or eight years of the decade. If they were great years, then it seems unfair to punish someone because of the period they played (Not that someone like Strahan will be upset that he was left of PK's list).

A final though is that I completely disagree with his selection at Quarterback. It is obviously Brett Favre because he played the game the right way, always had fun, and brought 75% more enjoyment to his fans than any other player. I believe he also brought on world peace, stopped global warming, and saved three babies and a puppy from a burning building.

God I am glad Brett Farve is ending his career and not just starting. I could not deal with the media's hyperbole and love affair with him. I used to really like Brett Favre as a player, but the media ruined him (that and has indecision about retirement).

Bengoodfella said...

Whether Peter was picking a "team" or not was his decision and it is really just a personal grip whether he sticks to it or not, so I understand how Edward thought I was sort of dumb for picking on Peter for that. It just seemed to me he was making a position specific team and if he is doing that then I would think he would want to name players at each exact position. I thought his choices of Smith and Vrabel also indicated he was choosing a "team" and not necessarily simply the best players. It obviously doesn't matter in the long run.

The analogy you made to someone's birth does make sense. For some reason I can't recall that Seinfeld episode, which is odd because I have seen pretty much every single one of them repeatedly.

I think Strahan needed to be on the list or at least another DE. The reasoning behind Strahan's omission doesn't make sense because Peter says Hutchinson didn't play at a high level but for 5-6 years of the 2000's, yet he includes him on the team, but not Strahan who played at a high level for that many years in the 2000's. It just seemed a little contradictory.

Brett Favre clearly needs to be the guy who is the quarterback for this team and I know at least 50% of Peter wanted to try and fit him in on the team but knew he couldn't. I actually don't dislike Favre but Joe Posnanski had an interesting article about Favre and the hype around him and basically pointed out how Favre really wasn't the top quarterback at any point during his career. In the early 90's it was Troy Aikman and Steve Young, in the late 90's was the closest he came to being that guy with Elway retiring, Warner only starting for a year, and Marino's career fading. Or course we know the Brady and Manning were tops in the 2000's. I thought it was relatively interesting.

I am so thankful he is ending his career now too. I think it is about time to hand the spotlight to someone else. Now if he would just stay retired...